How Online Betting Works in India?

The online betting scene in India has grown considerably over the years. It is one of the most popular pastimes for many Indian bettors today. What does it look like today, though?

How is the Indian gambling landscape when it comes to online betting activity? We’re going to look at this and provide you an insight in this guide.

Surge of Online Betting in India

Over the past decade or so, online betting in India has picked up a lot of steam. This has resulted in a plethora of new betting sites launching in India for 2024, and it is likely that more will spawn in the future. The online gambling scene remains in its infancy within India.

Many may consider it to be an illegal activity considering many states in the country ban it outrightly. Yet there aren’t any federal laws that prohibit participating in online betting.

That being said, a few states have recently introduced explicit laws that restrict residents from engaging in the activity. Certain regulations do remain in place across India, such as the Public Gambling Act of 1867. So far, no cases have been recorded of players being prosecuted for online betting.

Through this guide, we aim to provide you an insight into how the landscape currently looks for Indian bettors intending to participate in online betting. We’ll have a look at the legalities surrounding popular betting platforms and the official laws.

It is also the intent to advise on the cultural impact of betting within India, how to choose the right betting site, what payment methods are supported, and so on.

Given the fact that India has such a love for sports in general, it’s not a surprise that online sports betting has garnered a positive response. Of course, like any endeavour surrounding money, it is important to know how to navigate the landscape in a safe and careful way.

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Legal Status of Online Betting in India

One of the most important pieces of information to know about online gambling in India is whether it is legal or not. After all, you’ll need to know if you’re participating in an illegal activity. In India, there are state laws and federal laws to take notice of as a bettor.

These will dictate whether online betting is deemed a legal act or not. Of course, this depends upon the state that you reside in and the general consensus within where the activity is concerned.

Federal vs. State Laws: What You Need to Know

Gambling in India is a state subject. This means that only states in India are able to formulate laws for gambling activities within their respective states. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is a central law, which prohibits the running of or management of a public gaming house.

Penalties for breaking this law are in place, meaning a fine of up to ₹200 or a prison sentence of up to three months can be meted out. Via that act, residents of India are also prohibited from visiting gambling houses. Anyone caught doing so can be fined up to ₹100 or sentenced to one month in prison.

Indian law currently classifies games into two quite broad categories. Those are games of skill and games of chance. Yet it is not 100% sure on which games are defined as what, considering that games like Rummy is not one that is based entirely on chance, but also not entirely on skill.

There is also the case of the Information Technology Act 2000. It is this that regulates cyber activities across India, although it has no mention of online gambling or betting.

As a result, participation in such has been left to the interpretation of the Courts, which have refused to examine the matter further. Online gambling is something that is a banned offence in the state of Maharashtra though, which falls under the Bombay Wager Act.

As things stand at the moment, only three Indian states allow land-based casinos, which are Goa, Daman and Sikkim. Two establishments exist in Sikkim, while ten are present in Goa.

Online betting and gambling are still very new to India, and as noted, there aren’t any federal laws governing over it. In 2010, Sikkim intended to offer three online gambling licences. By last year, online gambling had only been made legal in the states of Goa, Daman and Sikkim.

The online lottery provided by Sikkim takes bets from players throughout the country. Many thought that other states would follow in Sikkim’s path, thereby creating a massive online gambling market in the country.

There is a layer of complexity that players in India need to consider before determining whether to engage in online betting.

This is because of the division of control between the federal and state governments. A state has to introduce its own laws on gambling online, whilst still adhering to rules laid out within the federal act. This could be why so few states have proceeded with creating such legal framework.

Popular Betting Platforms: Are They Legal?

Even though casinos in India are not able to promote or have sites that promote online gambling, including sports betting, it isn’t illegal for offshore companies to provide sites that place a focus on Indian players.

The only legal requirement for these offshore sites is that they must offer Indian rupees as a supported currency for players based within the country.

The only two states where this information is not current are Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In both locations, all online gambling has been banned for residents. Anyone breaking the new law, which came into effect in January of 2020, can face up to one year in prison.

So, how do you know what kind of platform online is a legal one and what isn’t? Well, first of all, if you see that the platform is supporting payment methods that cater to Indian rupees, then it stands out as an ideal choice straight away.

Not only that, but it’s always good to find an online casino that holds at least one gambling licence from a respectable jurisdiction.

Unless you are located within the two previously noted states, then you will find that betting online is neither legal nor illegal. One of the biggest issues that faces sports bettors operating online in India is the fact that depositing at the sites is often very difficult.

This is why it has become necessary for them to incorporate Indian-friendly payment methods into their platforms. Trusting a platform is one thing, but verifying how legal it is can be quite another. Just be sure to check for a proper licence and regulations.

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The Cultural Impact of Betting in India

Indian people have such a love for sport that placing bets on the events associated with such has had quite the cultural impact. Several sports have become the nation’s favourites, and these are often focused on by fans of sports betting. With the ability to now do it online, this is becoming much more commonplace.

Betting on Cricket: A National Pastime

India has the biggest national cricket fanbase of all countries in the world. Figures suggest that around 90% of the world’s cricket fans are located there. At the same time, around 140 million Indian citizens place bets on cricket games each year.

Thus, it’s no surprise that online bets on the sport have also become a lot more popular. While a lot of this does focus on the Indian Premier League (IPL), bets are also wagered on events and tournaments taking place against other nations.

Because cricket is such a widely played and known sport across India, people there tend to know the sport inside out. As a result, there isn’t a huge amount of subjectivity in the bets being placed. All wagers come from a point of a deeply ingrained love for the sport in general.

Plus, with the internet now being widely available, bettors can garner even more information to enhance their sports bets. Add that to the fact that online sportsbooks have become a lot easier to access in India, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

The International Centre for Sports Security has valued the worth of the sports betting industry within India at over $130 billion.

That does include the vast network of underground and illegal betting operations taking place throughout the country.

A huge portion of that figure comes from sports bets on cricket events. Popular cricket tournaments, like the aforementioned IPL, as well as the ICC World Cups, have assisted in the expansion of the sport around the world, too.

Placing bets on cricket games brings its own satisfying electricity to gamblers. This is especially true when it comes to wagering on the IPL games each year. Yet it’s not just about that thrill. It brings fans of the sport together in its own unique way, ensuring top-level enjoyment is had by all who choose to participate in betting on it.

Other Popular Sports for Betting

Cricket is, without a doubt, the most popular sport in India. It’s not the only one that receives a high level of attention from bettors, though. A few other sports stand out as being popular with sports gamblers.

Betting on Football in India

Alongside cricket, Indians love the thrill that comes with football (soccer). This has also led to more people opting to get involved in football betting. The sports sector in India has witnessed several developments produced by the significant growth of football alongside other sports.

It stands out as one of the top three sports in player participation, TV viewership and fan support. Many Indian football games are wagered on, yet there is also attention given to international teams, such as those in the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga, for example.

Kabaddi: Indian Betting for Insiders

For people living outside of India and neighbouring Bangladesh, kabaddi may be a sport that is very unfamiliar. Yet within India, it has an ever-growing fanbase. The ancient Indian sport has always been popular but is now garnering a new legion of sports betting fans as well.

It became a competitive sport in the 20th century, and in the last few years, kabaddi has become quite the national obsession. In fact, it is now one of the most-watched sports next to cricket.

Getting involved in betting on kabaddi isn’t difficult, but there are some tips and hints on how to really enjoy it at BettingSites24.

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) formed in 2014, and it was this that marked a turning point for the sport. It was thus elevated from something only occurring on local playgrounds to a prime-time television sport.

Horse Racing for Indian Players

One other sport that serves as a popular option for bettors in India is horse racing. So popular is this sport that entire magazine and newspapers devoted to reporting on races and odds exist. It provides an exciting sport to watch, with races being unpredictable, so there is always a chance for a horse to come from the back and win at the last minute.

It’s also the case that horse racing is relatively easy to bet on. It doesn’t feature a mass of different markets like other sports do. In addition, horse racing events take place so often from different locations around the world.

This means that there is usually always something to wager on in this sport. At the same time, many online sportsbooks supporting Indian bettors tend to feature horse racing as a primary sport at their sites.

It’s important to highlight that not only is it fun to diversify your betting options and interests. It’s also strategic to do so.

You’ll be able to experience a fresh and exciting landscape when you participate, and you can learn about different sports as you go. When one sport isn’t in season, you can always turn to an alternative to enjoy. Thus, why wouldn’t you engage in betting on different options?

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Choosing the Right Online Betting Platform

When you intend on placing sports bets online, you must select the right sportsbook for you. Yet you also need to consider one or two other things beforehand. If you don’t, then you could be putting yourself at risk.

Security Measures: How to Bet Safely

The most important factor to consider when selecting the right online sportsbook is to make sure it is a secure platform.

Security should always be your first concern, because a site offering secure betting ensures your enjoyment of gambling isn’t soured by any unnecessary risks. At BettingSites24, all the betting sites we recommend have been vetted to ensure they offer safe, fair and secure online betting.

Checking for things like SSL encryption technology is a must. This determines that all your data is stored securely and that transactions always occur in encrypted format.

A Privacy Policy is also important as this informs you on your personal information is used and protected by the platform in question. You need to feel comfortable at the sportsbook you’re joining, so put security at the forefront of your hunt for a site to sign up to.

User Experience: What to Look For

You need to know that you’re getting the best kind of experience when participating in online sports betting in India. If a site doesn’t cater to your gambling needs through and through, then why bother joining it?

Look out for features like the inclusion of mobile betting apps to download and use. Make sure the interface of the website is simple to navigate around and offers that same usability on mobile devices.

If a site provides live betting, like most sportsbooks today do, then see if you can also enjoy live streaming of events as well.

This adds an extra dimension to your betting activity. If you’re able to get a top-notch user experience from a platform, then this usually signals how good the overall quality of it is.

Don’t ever compromise on what you want from a sports betting site. If one sportsbook isn’t providing everything you like, there will likely be another that can.

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Deposits and Withdrawals for Indian Bettors

Making deposits and withdrawals to and from betting sites in India are key steps in the online gambling journey. You’ll need to know what payment methods are available to you to use for these processes though, and how they operate. This way, you can choose the method that works best for you.

Banking Options: From e-Wallets to Traditional Banking

Unlike bettors from various other countries, for a long time, Indian players had little choice when it came to transferring money to and from betting sites. Often, the supported methods would block transactions before the money had gone anywhere.

Fortunately, things are different today. Most legitimate betting sites have to offer transactions through multiple supported methods and in Indian rupees.

E-Wallet are used a lot by bettors in India today, as they offer a simple and effective way of making deposits. Options such as PayTM, Neteller, Skrill, and others make for useful e-wallets, allowing you to upload funds to the wallet and then deposit at your favoured betting site with them.

Some sportsbooks support multiple e-wallets, while others only support one or two. You may also be able to make use of prepaid cards, like Paysafecard, as an example.

It’s also the case that traditional payment methods are available at some sites, including Mastercard, bank transfer, Visa and so on. The issue with these is that they can take longer to process overall. If you want to deposit your funds instantly, I always recommend using an e-wallet, if possible.

Brands like PayPal, PayTM, MuchBetter, and so on offer speedy deposits and tend to come with low fees. It’s always advisable to read the terms and conditions of the payment method and the online betting site first, though.

Withdrawal Policies: What You Should Be Aware Of

Making a withdrawal from your chosen online sportsbook is not just a matter of requesting your funds and receiving them. You should be aware of certain rules and conditions surrounding such.

Different payment methods will have different transaction times attached to them, for example. Those transaction times apply after the sportsbook’s processing time of your request has completed. This is usually between 24 and 48 hours.

You should also be aware of any transaction limits in place. Different betting sites will have different limits relating to this. Plus, it is common these days for withdrawals to be free of charge, but that’s not always the case.

You need to make sure of the circumstances surrounding payouts at your favoured sportsbook. Always read the fine print at your chosen site. We recommend doing this before you sign up for an account, so that you’re aware about the site’s policies and procedures. Then, you won’t be caught off guard with anything.

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Betting Strategies and Tips for Indian Bettors

If you’re new to online betting or even if you have some knowledge of it and want to give yourself a better experience, we have some tips for you to take note of. It’s always ideal to have some sort of strategy when engaging in sports betting, so here are a couple of tips to take with you when you next login to your online account.

Make the Most of Bonus Offers

Signing up to an online betting site will usually provide you with the chance to claim bonus offers. These can come in various forms, with welcome bonuses rewarding you after you complete your registration and first deposit.

Free bets are also available this way, providing you with free betting credits after you settle your first wager. It is ideal to make the most of these as best you can. Bonuses can provide you with the opportunity to place extra bets and potentially experience something you haven’t wagered on before.

Of course, bonuses of this nature can provide you with a nice head start at your chosen sportsbook. You get extra funds to use as you like. It’s important to remember that they come with string attached as well, though. Make sure you inform yourself of their terms and conditions before claiming such. Any good sports betting guide will advise you of this.

Get to Know the Odds of Sports Events

There are different types of odds available at most sportsbooks. You can view these in fractional, decimal, American, and other formats.

The odds themselves remain the same; it’s just that they are displayed differently. You need to know which one works best for you, so learn about the different types and whichever is the most understandable, utilise such.

Yet it’s not only how the odds appear visually, but what the odds mean overall. If you learn about them properly, you can understand which odds are the best and which ones you can benefit from.

This can significantly influence the success you have when sports betting. Thus, before you start placing any wagers, you should make a point of learning about odds, how they are created, and how to locate the best odds.

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Responsible Gambling: A Must for Every Bettor

It is vital for any legitimate online sportsbook to promote responsible gambling these days. What is this, though? It is an ideal way to go about your betting activity. If you bet responsibly, then you’re less likely to fall victim to issues like gambling addiction and other such problems.

Identifying Problem Gambling

You’ll need to watch out for certain signs of problem gambling so that you can take necessary action. If you find yourself spending more than you can afford, this is a prominent sign.

If you end up chasing your losses or borrowing money from others to fund your gambling habit, or if you get overly angry or upset at any losing bets, you may need to seek help. If you’re hiding your betting activity from friends and family, this can often be a sign of problem gambling, too.

Gambling online, whether on sports or on casino games, should be a fun pastime. It shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. Players need to be honest with themselves over their gambling habits.

If you can’t do this, then sports betting and so on is likely not the area to get involved in. Gamble responsibly and you will be able to control your betting properly.

Support Resources and Helplines

There are a few resources and helplines available across India that can assist with problem gambling. Hope Trust India is one such organisation that helps with all types of problems, including gambling addiction. There is also a treatment centre known as Abhasa, who you can contact for assistance.

A quick search online can display results for a variety of helplines and services, and any legitimate online sportsbook will provide details of recommended organisations via their Responsible Gambling pages.

Never underestimate the value of having a solid support network around you. Whether that is in an offline or online situation, whatever help you can garner for gambling problems is vital.

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Conclusion: The Future of Online Betting in India

The online betting trend in India is thriving and is only poised to get better as the months go by. This is also partly thanks to emerging tech trends and tools becoming of use.

It was at the beginning of 2024 that the Indian government issued new rules to regulate online gambling, and this brought about the intention to create “self-regulatory” bodies for overseeing it.

The likelihood is that more Indian states will provide legislation for authorised online gambling, including sports betting, as time goes on. Seeing how successful it can be and the revenue it can generate will likely be a deciding factor.

You also must consider the popularity of certain sports in the country (cricket, football, kabaddi, etc.) and how many people enjoy having a punt on the matches and events.

Online betting in India offers a promising future as a result. Yet it is, of course, important to be well-informed on everything surrounding it to really enjoy the experience provided.

Rakesh Nadkarni